The SWAT-T is a multi-purpose emergency medical device that can be used with minimal training as a tourniquet, pressure dressing or elastic wrap. Its ease of application is one of its greatest benefits; individuals can effectively apply the SWAT-T in seconds with little to no prior training.
The SWAT-T can be used as tourniquet when bleeding is severe (arterial) and loss of life is of greatest concern. In most patients, tourniquets have proven to be safe for a minimum of two hours. When used properly, all tourniquets may cause loss of limb. This is a necessary risk to bring our patients home.
For less severe bleeding, the SWAT-T can be used as a pressure dressing when hemorrhage is controlled or for venous and capillary oozing. To use the SWAT-T as a pressure dressing, place a sterile dressing (or standard gauze / hemostatic dressing) on the wound, then wrap the SWAT-T around the area of injury. You can then tuck in the end, which will maintain pressure on the wound (preventing further contamination and re-bleeding). If the endpoints are met on the dressing, you may have a tourniquet and should check for good blood return in the extremity (pulse and capillary refill), or you risk the complications associated with all tourniquets. Pressure dressings should be left in place until definitive wound management can be accomplished.
The SWAT-T can function as an elastic wrap to splint an extremity for immobilization, stabilize a twisted knee/ankle, sling a shoulder, and hold ice near sprains and strains. It can also be used to loosely apply pressure across the chest or abdomen to help close and protect wounds, contain abdominal contents in evisceration, or to assist in stabilization of the pelvis in blunt pelvic trauma.